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“Delectable offerings & beautiful view (even on a rainy night)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Chestnut Grille at The Bee and Thistle Inn

The Chestnut Grille at The Bee and Thistle Inn
100 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT 06371 (Formerly Bee & Thistle Inn)
860-434-1667
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Ranked #3 of 27 Restaurants in Old Lyme
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $35 - $50
Cuisines: Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Romantic
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
West Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Delectable offerings & beautiful view (even on a rainy night)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We had an incredible meal, in a romantic setting, complete with a perfect view out the window down to the river. If the weather had cooperated, we would have had our cocktails and wine on the lawn of this historic home, down by the river. Outdoor dining at small care tables is apparently also available, but without the river view. The inn is located next door to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT, and the scenery out back inspired a community of American impressionist artists some years ago. The interior decor in the restaurant area of the inn is classic, warm, and inviting. I liked the artwork and sculpture displayed. The cocktail specials fashioned by the bartender were fabulous, and the wine we shared (Carnivore) was excellent. Our waiter was attentive, well-informed, and gracious, as was the owner who by to check on our degree of satisfaction. Our party had a good sampling of fare - chowder, salads, salmon, chicken, yellow fin tuna, skirt steak, etc. All entrees were extraordinary and satisfying. Good portions were provided. Desserts, too - coconut creme brule, lemon sponge cake, and chocolate sundaes - were thoroughly enjoyed. The epresso was quite good as well. We will definitely return. Prices were very reasonable, and we enjoyed every minute!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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57 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    39
    8
    5
    2
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
The Villages, Florida
Top Contributor
414 reviews 414 reviews
306 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

I have been looking forward to good food that evening but was disappointing. My chicken breast was nothing special and on a drier side rather than juicy. My wife's hanger steak was better and medium rare as promised but nothing special. Given that the price was quite high, we could have had similar dishes at a family restaurant for much less. Menus were quite limited and perhaps people come for the ambience but not us. We enjoyed Tanquery gin and tonic we had before dinner and the glass of cab. I had with dinner.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The Finest Restaurant in Old Lyme”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Literally the only place that I will eat at in town.
Lets start at the beginning shall we?

I have been all over the world but there is something special here, Something that clicks.

The Bee is super laid back in a way that makes you feel okay about spending 2 hours having lunch, or 30 minutes having a martini. The owner has a selective taste in furniture (think leather sofas and marble end tables) as well as a discerning eye, not only are the staff friendly, but they're actually happy. I don't know who the chef is (I will) but he is definitely world class.

Relax, enjoy, you're home.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Dine here and Bee Happy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

The Bee and Thistle Is an exquisite old building with a fabulous painting and antiques. Unfortunately it was raining so we couldn't enjoy the river view while dining but the weather didn't dampen our indoor dining experience. The staff was friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and eager to please. We took another couple out to dinner and each couple ordered from the set price($75per couple) three course menu which entailed soup or salad, one of two entrees, dessert and a bottle of wine for each couple. The food was superb and exquisitely presented , The desserts were delicious, as was the wine. The atmosphere was romantic, the staff was patient , courteous and pleasant. This is a hidden gem that we are glad to have discovered. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Connecticut
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful venue for celebration”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013 via mobile

The Bee and Thistle is a beautiful setting with a lovely restaurant in the cute city of Old Lyme. The restaurant has a superb and creative chef, who makes interesting but "safe" dishes that are guaranteed to please. My wife and I went to celebrate an excellent quarter, and we're not disappointed. The chowder was a traditional clam chowder, but made with big, local clams, fresh potatoes, bacon, and lovely seasoning. Safe, but delicious. The bread salad was interesting and innovative, and the Duck was perfectly prepared, if a little uninspired. Our favorite dish was the soft-shell crabs. Two large crabs, served with a fun Hicama salad, fresh avocado, and a red pepper aoli. Lovely. The wine list is nice, but pricey; a small pour of decent wine is $11 per glass, which is too high for a routine dining experience, but fine for a special occasion. Highly recommended.

Visited June 2013
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